No matter what your level of fitness, yoga can help sculpt a brand new shape or enhance the one you have. As a practice, it can provide all-over strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular benefits.
Get on the mat
Devotion Yoga located at 79 Hudson St. in Hoboken has over 55 classes seven days a week, giving even the over scheduled person ample opportunities. The studio, which is owned by Stevens alumni Liza Bertini, has been open since December 2003. Most of the yoga classes are Vinyasa style, which means, "flowing with breath." They are designed to relax, reshape, and recharge your body.
There are classes designed for the beginner to the advancer practitioner. An added bonus for the beginning student is that it requires very little equipment or specialty clothing. Loose comfortable clothes and bare feet are all you need for a first class.
It is suggested that regular members purchase their own yoga mat, but daily rentals are always available. According to Bertini, Devotion Yoga has more than just classes, it is a place where people from the community can meet others and live a better life. Throughout the year, the studio offers a wide range of wellness workshops.
Although each class is different, all of the classes will take the student through different postures while the student is focusing on the breath. In each "pose" the student challenges his or her body to stretch a little further and realign the spine to proper position. It is an exercise that requires focus of the mind particularly in advanced positions, which can require a student to balance on one leg, or in a backbend. The studio has a menu selection of classes designed for the different skill levels.
Flow 1 is for the beginning student with attention focusing on the postures and the breath. Flow 2 is an intermediate level class that practices the basic postures and some more challenging poses including balancing postures and backbends. Flow 2-3 is an energetic class for the advanced student and includes balancing poses and inversions. For a full body workout, the "mind over muscle" class combines elements of Pilates and yoga to focus on trouble spots and isolate muscles.
In addition there are specialty classes including: relaxation yoga for inner renewal, restorative yoga for stress reduction, back salvation for sports injuries and spinal stability and more.
Those with no experience of yoga might want to try the beginner series, which is offered several times a month. The series is an eight-week course that teaches new students the basics including: basic postures, yoga breathing, relaxation techniques and more.
Each course meets once a week and is taught sequentially with the same teacher and a limited amount of students.
This month, there are two beginner series. The first starts on Monday, Jan. 8 from 7:45 to 9 p.m. and the second starts on Tuesday, Jan. 30. This course is $150 for eight weeks.
Not just for women
Although more women than men practice yoga, it is designed to benefit either sex. According to Bertini, there are different workshops throughout the year that attract more male students including: golf, ski, or running workshops. The workshops are at least 2 hours long and focus on specific areas of the sport and are designed to enhance performance.
The golf workshop is offered in the spring and focuses on the swing and concentration. The running workshop is designed with marathon runners in mind and is offered every fall.
In January, there are two free workshop days available for people to check out the studio and the services. The first is on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is an open-house day. There will be free classes given every hour.
The second is a wellness workshop on Sunday, Jan. 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. All of the classes, with the exception of the beginner series, are ongoing. Students can drop in at any time to take a class for $18 each. Credit cards and cash are accepted.
Discounts are available with packages and for students. Other discounts are available; please call (201) 610-yoga or visit: www.devotionyoga.com for details.
Devotion Yoga is just one of the great studios in Hudson County offering discounts in January. Please see the sidebar more listings of clubs and studios.
What: Beginner to advanced yoga classes
Where: 79 Hudson St., Suite 103, Hoboken
When: open seven days a week
(All numbers have a 201 area code.)
Atlantis Health & Fitness, 600 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, (271-0202), machines & classes
Club KO, 127 Grand St. & 900 Madison St., (963-7774), kickboxing
Devotion Yoga, 79 Hudson St., Hoboken, (610-yoga), group and private instruction
Gala Pilates, 303 First St., Hoboken, (656-3113), mat & equipment classes
Harmony Pilates, 720 Monroe St., Hoboken, (653-3011), mat & equipment classes